Tokyo Heroes: External Playtest

Mendel Schmiedekamp from the Story Games forum was kind enough to run a session of Tokyo Heroes the other day, and today he emailed me with the results. Not surprisingly, this was major food for thought, and it shows that as far as the game has come, it has a long way to go yet. I’m extremely grateful to have gotten this opportunity, since it exposed some stuff about the game that didn’t really come up with my group, at least not in the first session. I’m onto something (one of my friends called the game “addictive”) but there’s still plenty of work to do.

On the plus side, for his group character creation went very well, and became this sort of mashup of evil aliens and Iron Chef. (“the main villain being Apocalyptic Chef Andromedan – who is planning to cook Earth as part of his course for Theme Ingredient: Mortal Souls.”)

The major problem is that the combat rules need an overhaul. They don’t allow for a whole lot of variety, which makes whittling down the opponent’s Stamina a repetitive process, and initiative and attack power are the only things that really matter, and they can seriously overwhelm the opposition unfairly. It ought to reward creativity a bit more,

I really need to sit down and think about this, and try to get something new together for Mendel’s group and mine alike to try out, probably some time after winter break. For the moment my creative stuff is kind of hamstrung by finals and freelance work.

Also: we are flat
Just before that, I got a bit further on we are flat, my anthology of three crazy Superflat-inspired games. In particular, I’m finally starting to figure out what to do with Magical Burst, the over-the-top insane-o magical girl game that’s basically a reworking of my Magical World campaign setting, with its own set of rules. One of the major things I did was to go hog-wild with random tables, inspired by Maid RPG, and for similar reasons. There’s still lots of things I need to figure out, but the crazy random tables angle is definitely

The first draft of Moonsick is done too, but I suspect it desperately needs playtesting, and to at least be eyeballed by some other people. This is where I run into the problem that the way the game is set up, someone who’s read it all the way through would make a very poor playtester, and it’d be harder to get the full effect on someone who’s played it before. Shades of Paranoia and Cell Gamma (one of the games from the No-Press Anthology), not to mention The Mountain Witch having accidentally become a major inspiration.

For the third one, Black Hole Girls, I’ve come up with some stuff that seems kinda sorta promising, but I really have to develop and playtest it in order to see if I’m even remotely on the right track.

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